Shell­fish acts bag big fines

Pilbara News - - News - Tom Zaun­mayr

More than one per­son a month is be­ing pinged for ex­ceed­ing bag lim­its for shell­fish in Kar­ratha, lead­ing author­i­ties to urge peo­ple to stick to the lim­its.

Depart­ment of Fish­eries su­per­vis­ing fish­eries and ma­rine of­fi­cer Michael Dunne said nine in­fringe­ments had been is­sued for ark shell of­fences since April, with three more un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

The in­fringe­ments for ex­ceed­ing the two-litre bag limit for ark shells, cock­les and pipis have ranged from $75-$375.

Mr Dunne said all shells taken, whether for food or as spec­i­mens, had a bag limit.

“It is il­le­gal to sell any recre­ation­ally caught or col­lected fish, in­clud­ing shells,” he said.

The shells are typ­i­cally col­lected from mud flats at low tide and the sim­plic­ity of find­ing them means the species can be eas­ily over­fished.

Ark shells are greatly val­ued by Abo­rig­i­nal peo­ple in north­ern Aus­tralia be­cause of their cul­tural sig­nif­i­cance.

Larger spec­i­men shells such as cowries, vo­lutes and conch, have an in­di­vid­ual bag limit of 10.

Fish­ers ob­serv­ing il­le­gal fish­ing ac­tiv­ity are en­cour­aged to re­port it to the FishWatch hot­line on 1800 815 507.

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